Hisham Barbhuiya Nov 15 2014

Chennai Central – The Heart of Travellers

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Ever been to Chennai? Well, if you have been, then this place will not come as a surprise for you. If you have been staying here or been put up for some time at least! It is a busy area which is used as a junction, wherein from you can proceed on a wide variety of areas ranging from the North Indian hub of Sowkarpet or even to the Marina Beach on the sea front. In this blog, we take a look at Chennai Central, in terms of what you can expect when you are here waiting for your bus.

Chennai Central Railway Station – The Iconic Landmark (Photo Courtesy – Wikipedia.com)

Chennai Central Railway Station – The Iconic Landmark (Photo Courtesy – Wikipedia.com)

Having lived in Chennai for around two and a half years, there have been circumstances where I needed to travel to cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad by bus, thanks to the trend of out-of-reach train tickets. One of the most popular and yet easily accessible areas used as a pick-up or boarding point is Central – noted for its railway stations – with a local station as well as a major junction of the state, being adjacent to each other. Interestingly enough, the place or the main road wherein interstate private buses travel lies in between, sandwiched, between these two railway stations.

How to Reach Chennai Central Railway Station

No matter where you are put up in the city, whether the suburbs of Tambaram or the relatively closer areas of Nungambakkam or Anna Nagar, you can easily reach the place. Perhaps, the most convenient way to reach this place is by local trains, which aren’t overcrowded like Mumbai. You can disembark at the airport and catch a suburban train (from a station opposite) which will drop you at Chennai Park station (this is Central) for a mere Rs. 9 in 30 minutes, minus the traffic congestion. Then of course, there are options of autos, call taxis and buses from other areas.

 A glimpse of the foodstuff available in Sowcarpet, Chennai (Photo Courtesy - Sumitra Sundaram, timescity.com)

A glimpse of the foodstuff available in Sowcarpet (Photo Courtesy – Sumitra Sundaram, timescity.com)

What to Expect

It is a purely commercial area, with everything a traveler needs being available – North Indian as well as South Indian food, biryani restaurants, mobile recharge centers and ATM machines. The only inconvenience you might experience here is lack of a place to kill your time, unless you decide to eat out at a restaurant. Mind you there are shops in the vicinity where you can go window-shopping. However, you can take an auto to the Express Avenue Mall, one of the biggest in South India, located 4 km away (9 minutes), by auto. The Marina Beach is also 6 km away (15 minutes). Make sure you insist on a metre ride.

Must Visit if You Have Time

Beyond Chennai Central railway station, the locality of Sowcarpet is a fairly popular area amongst the city’s inhabitants for the North Indian food items available, most notably the chaat items. Sowcarpet is also the area to try out some authentic sweet dishes as well as kulfis or the Indian variety of ice-creams. You can also purchase designer sarees and bangles from here. Central is barely 2 km away from the area.

The only point you need to be little cautious about is that you may get stuck in traffic these days, as a lot of metro rail construction work is underway at various locations of the city. Make sure you start way ahead of time if you plan to travel by road. Once you reach, the office bearers of the respective travel operator will help you board your bus.

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